The Mangled Creature

by MW Cook

I finally finished the Harry Potter series. I know that a lot of Christians are really upset about Harry Potter. I’m not. I’d tell you why, but this post isn’t really about that.

Something in last book of the series tickled my imagination. I’ll try to get it to tickle yours without too many spoilers.

At the very end of the series, Harry gets a glimpse of the world of souls. For a moment he thinks it’s the after life, but it becomes clear, I think, that it’s just a place where people exist in forms that are true to what the condition of their souls are. And in this place, Harry comes across the soul of the antagonist, Voldemort.

On earth, Voldemort is a powerful and fearsome person. The kind of person that no one could ever stand up to. His followers worship him as a god. But what is he in the world of souls?

He’s a mangled, raw, dying child.  Thrown under a bench and abandoned.  Anyone who goes near him is repulsed by him.  His soul is so horribly disfigured, in fact, that even Dumbledore is forced to say that he sees no hope for it.  And, even as Harry encourages Voldemort to repent, the reader is sure that it’s impossible.

This picture of the soul immediately registered with me.

Jeremiah considered the human soul to be deceitful and desperately sick.  But not just the ones like Voldemort’s, who had maimed his soul through unspeakable evil deeds.  But every soul.

Each of us had a broken soul.  The image of God that separates us from the animals is maimed.  Our souls are not just damaged by what we have done, but they are wrecked from the beginning.  If it were not so we would have discovered and implemented a way to build a perfect society by now and I’d never choose anything that was bad for me.

So what Dumbledore uttered for Voldemort’s soul applies to everyone, then.  “It is beyond saving.”  Harry could never have convinced Voldemort to repair his soul.  Heck, even if he tried, he wouldn’t know how to begin.  And so when Voldemort was killed, his body was destroyed and he was left with nothing but his useless, pain-wracked soul.

Is it impossible to heal a soul?  Of course.  But it’s also impossible for a man four days dead to come out from his tomb.  It is a good thing that Jesus enjoys doing impossible things, eh?

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